Sunday, November 25, 2007

On turning garbage into wolves

Two quotes. First, from today's (my translation):
Four Neonazis in Mittweida [former East Germany, near Chemnitz] attacked a six-year-old child and cut a swastik in the skin of a 17-yr-old girl who came to her defence. The attacks happened on November 3rd.

The girl only reported the attack nine days later. Police consider her story believable, because medical tests confirmed that the 5cm swastika was not cut by herself. They were also able to find the original victim, who confirmed the girl's report.

According to the girl, four skinheads were pushing a six-yr-old child of a "Spätaussiedler" family in the parking-lot of a supermarket. The child was already crying loudly as the girl shouted that the men should leave it alone. Which they did: three of them knocked the girl to the ground and held her while the fourth cut a swastika in her hip with a sharp object. [...]

The mayor hopes that after publication of the attacks, witnesses will come forward. The girl reported that local residents had been watching the events from their balconies. So far no witnesses have spoken out.
The second is from George Steiner's brilliant and harrowing novel "The portage to San Cristóbal of A.H.":
It was [Hitler] who made real the old dream of murder... With his scourge of speech and divining rod. With his nose for the bestial and the boredom in men's bones. His words made the venom spill... He took garbage and made it into wolves. Where his words fell lives petty or broken grew tall as hate.
One of these days, when I'm in a particularly bad mood, I shall transcribe and post the chapter known as "Lieber's Lament," from which this quote is taken.

Twenty-five down, five to go.

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Blogger Pacian said...

Based on that story, I actually find it difficult to find fault with anyone who doesn't want to come forward as a witness.

November 25, 2007 at 5:33:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger JoeinVegas said...

We have a big problem here with witness intimidation. One section of town has a lot of shootings, with people screaming all the time because the police do nothing, but then when something else happens no one seems to have seen it. At a block party, with over a hundred attendees last year five guys arrived and started shooting people, killing two, but for some reason no one was able to provide information or a description. Six months later no arrests, and people screaming at the police for doing nothing. Wonder why it continues.

November 26, 2007 at 6:02:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger Philip said...

It takes a community wide push to support (and protect) witnesses and those brave enough to report people. Until that tipping point, everyone will live in fear. It has to be a joint effort between a vigorous local police department and community leaders who can convince people to stand up agains the darkness.

I hope you will translate that chapter for us.

November 26, 2007 at 8:29:00 p.m. GMT+1  
Blogger Lioness said...

Eh. And people wonde rwhy I no longer watch the news. Bleak, bleak.

November 27, 2007 at 8:47:00 p.m. GMT+1  

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